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Ruth L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-518) interviewed by Sara Weinberger

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-518

Videotape testimony of Ruth L., who was born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia in approximately 1931, the older of two sisters. She recounts moving to Český Těšín; her family's affluence; German occupation; her father attending the World's Fair in the United States in April 1939 (he did not return due to the outbreak of war); evacuation to Kraków, then Bochnia in August 1939 in anticipation of German invasion; German bombings during which her aunt and cousin were killed; traveling to the Soviet zone; deportation to Siberia; forced labor with her mother; harsh conditions including starvation rations and freezing weather; transfer with other Czechs and Poles to Samarqand in December 1941; working on a collective farm; assistance from local Russians; her mother starving herself to give her rations to Ruth L. and her sister; illnesses and hospitalizations; her mother's death; transfer to another farm, then an orphanage; her father arranging for her and her sister to travel to the United States; transport to Mashhad; Soviet guards beating and brainwashing them not to reveal the circumstances under which they had lived; transfer to the United States Embassy in Tehran; traveling by ship to Italy; visiting Naples and Florence with American soldiers; arrival in New York in April 1945; examination by the Red Cross; and reunion with their father. Ms. L. discusses nightmares resulting from her experiences; not sharing her experiences prior to this recording; and the importance of hope and her faith to her survival.

L., Ruth, 1930?-
Cleveland, Ohio : National Council of Jewish Women, Holocaust Archive Project, 1985
Interview Date
January 24, 1985.
4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ruth L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-518). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.